Israel and Italy Candidates Show Progress for COVID-19 Vaccine

News of the vaccine candidates’ early progress from Israel and Italy made it to newspapers across the globe on Wednesday. Israel’s defence ministry reported a breakthrough in the production of an antibody, while the Italian biotech company Takis said that the vaccine studies performed at Rome’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases showed positive effects. Why are these vaccines, then, and what effects have they had?

Israel’s Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said scientists had developed an antibody to COVID-19 at the Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR). Bennett claimed it was a “significant breakthrough” and that research teams are moving to patent the potential cure and mass-produce it.

The IIBR is a clandestine organization, operating directly under the office of the Israeli Prime Minister. The Times of Israel announced that the production of the antibody had been completed and that researchers would approach foreign companies to commercially manufacture the antibody. The study, however, also said the antibodies had yet to be tested on humans.

Takis is working on a vaccine, in partnership with Applied DNA Sciences Inc. The company was conducting animal studies at the Rome-based Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases. It said on Wednesday that, as per the Associated Press, their vaccine developed antibodies during animal tests that had a neutralizing effect on the virus.

WHO Initiates Clinical Collaboration Study

The business expects to begin human trials soon as per reports. The vaccine based on DNA has been able to produce an antibody response against the spoken virus protein in mice.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has initiated an international ‘clinical collaboration study’. It is to combine some of the conflicting efforts of scientists. It is from around the world to find an effective cure for the novel coronavirus. This will equate four treatment options to the standard of care to test their relative efficacy against COVID-19, it said. One of the key factors behind this initiative is to improve the trial cycle and increase its size. Designing and conducting clinical trials for emerging diseases takes typically years. The WHO said that the unity trial would minimize it by 80%.

So, Remdesivir, Lopinavir / Ritonavir, Lopinavir / Ritonavir with Interferon beta-1a and Chloroquine, or Hydroxychloroquine were the preferred alternatives. Thus, it is for the trials based on evidence from laboratory, animal and clinical studies.

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